The Regional District of North Okanagan will consider a request to ban ATV`s from an alpine area north east of Mabel Lake
Andrew Walker, a wildlife biologist with the provincial government told the RDNO board off-roaders are destroying habitat in The Joss Mountain Tsuius, Mabel Mouintain area.
Chair Bob Fleming says it`s is a sensitive region.
“Its got a lot of trees. It’s got a lot of shrubbery and grasses in the alpine areas therefore it supports a lot of wildlife but because of the soils and so on it’s also subject to a lot of damage when vehicles go through.”
Fleming says it takes a lot to get to the area, but enough riders are getting in that they are leaving serious damage.
“They’re gaining access through existing forest service roads. There is no roads in the alpine but they`re creating these tracks which are because of the nature of the area and the elevation they`re essentially permanent.”
Andrew Walker went to investigate after hunters told him what they’ve run across.
Bob Fleming says the hundreds of thousands of hectares of land is home to varied wildlife ranging from mountain goat, mountain cariboo and mule deer and
“It`s grizzly habitat and there’s not much left. Most of the grizzly habitat in the main stems of the valley, you know, they’re gone. So, you know some of the remnant areas where grizzlies actually does live.”
Andrew Walker told the board the government is looking at possible regulations for a year-round motorized restriction, excluding forest service roads and snowmobiles.
Proposals are due to senior staff in Victoria to consider by October 1, 2017.
Further public consultation would be initiated in October with possible ministerial sign-off by March 2018; and possible restrictions coming into effect by July 2018.
Fleming says the board will discuss the request at its next meeting.